The topic of self-publishing has come up time and again. I sometimes wonder if the debate will ever end as to which one is "better."
The thing is, neither is better than the other. Any more than mayonaise is better than ketchup. They're both just different choices people can make. On more than one occassion I've had to defend my decision to go traditional. And not only that, to stay traditional. I honestly can't see myself ever wanting to move over completely to self-publishing.
I read this article last week, on Chuck Wendig's blog, and everything he said made perfect sense to me. It felt like I finally found a way to articulate the differences between traditional and self-publishing and why my preference is for traditional.
At some point, perhaps, I might dabble in it. Maybe release something on my own, perhaps if I decide to sell one of the roleplaying games I've designed or I really want to put a particular book out, come Hell or high water.
But the fact is, I love being a writer. I love the promotion work I get to do alongside my writing.
I do not love the idea of having to deal with cover artists, layout designers, a freelance editor, distribution, Amazon's upload system. They're just things that lie so far outside my comfort zone and areas of expertise that I am more than happy to let my publisher handle them.
I hear a lot of worrying things being said about traditonal publishing. Another timely post on Chuck Wendig's blog addresses the misinformation being spread. I'm all for people making their own choices and deciding their own path. However I can't abide the spread of misinformation, whether intentional or accidental. I think it's hugely important that, as much as traditional publishing is not held as being superior to self-publishing, it can't be demonised, either.
And aside from that, I love my publisher. I enjoy working with them. I want them to succeed as much as I want to succeed myself. I was once told that, when I become famous and can rely on my name to sell books, I should make the move to self-publishing so I'd get even more money. I was told I could even set up my own publishing company to handle all the non-writing side of things.
Well I'm sorry to say that won't be happening. If I'm not built for self-publishing on a small scale I'm certainly not built for running a company!
And the thing is, if I am fortunate enough to become a household name, why wouldn't I want my publisher, the company that brought me into the industry in the first place, to share in that success?
I'm not a publisher. I'm a writer. And I couldn't be happier with that arrangement.